Sheriff’s officials announced a $10,000 reward in exchange for information to find those responsible for the fatal shooting of a teen in Compton last year.
Additionally U.S. Cadet Corps., which the victim was a part of for years, will be adding $5,000 in exchange for information in the case.
The shooting occurred about 11:45 p.m. Sept. 24, when 16-year-old Ricardo Trujillo was leaving a party with his friends in Compton, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
The group was confronted by another group of individuals who were about the same age as the victim and his friends, and a fight broke out. A person pulled out a gun and shot Trujillo in the upper torso, and he “sadly succumbed to his injuries,” sheriff’s officials said in a news release announcing the reward.
Trujillo had gone to the party in Compton after leaving another one in Gardena, his family said. While at the second party, he texted his girlfriend that he had a “bad feeling” while being there, the girlfriend said Monday.
Trujillo was a junior at Narbonne High School in Harbor City at the time of his death and was one week away from turning 17.
He was a good student who was a member of the ROTC and the Junior Navy Program, L.A. County sheriff’s Lt. Hugo Reynaga said during a news conference Monday.
Trujillo enjoyed playing soccer, swimming and fishing and he wanted to be a drone pilot for the military.
He is survived by his parents, and his younger siblings, two sisters and a brother, Reynaga said.
Trujillo’s mother, Norma Ramirez, said her son had big dreams that he didn’t get to accomplish, but that she will always be proud of him. She explained that her son was not involved in gangs or drugs.
“This is my son,” she said in Spanish, pointing at photos on display of Trujillo in uniform. “It’s not easy to wake up every morning and know that he is no longer here, because someone decided to take his life. I demand justice because my life has no meaning without him,” Ramirez said.
Martha Ramirez, Trujillo’s cousin, read a letter she had written to her cousin in Spanish. In it, she said that he left her family too soon, and that the last time she saw him she realized he was no longer a boy, but becoming a man. But that last lunch with him wasn’t enough time, Martha Ramirez said.
“You left our hearts empty,” she said.
Trujillo’s girlfriend, Gabriela Santiago, said that he was more than just her partner, he was her best friend.
“Ricardo was a special, sweet, funny, smart hard-working and dedicated person,” she said.
She begged for anyone with information to come forward to help Trujillo’s family get justice.
The now $15,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the killing.
Anyone who has additional information is urged to call the Sheriff’s Department homicide bureau at 323-890-5500. Those wishing to remain anonymous, can call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).